I know, totally strange time to post hot cross buns but so good you’ll crave them any time of the year! You see Easter came and went and there I was still thinking about making them! Oops. But here they are, finally! They’re so yummy I’m sharing them with you before next year. My cake testers all adored them. These yeasted bread rolls are made with white spelt flour and unrefined sugars like coconut palm sugar. They’re packed with flavour from the ground allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg plus the sultanas, dried cranberries and candied orange peel. The amazing glaze is flavoured with star anise, nutmeg, vanilla and cloves. You’ll fall in love with these ‘all-year-round’ spelt hot cross buns and your kitchen will come alive with the aroma of delicious spices. So are you waiting till next Easter or making these right now?! 🙂
Seriously, don’t wait! I’ve just made another batch for ‘testing’ purposes (tee hee) and because they make me happy. Plus I needed photos of the process. As you can surmise from the dragons I actually did the first batch on April 23rd, Saint George’s Day. This is Sant Jordi’s here in Barcelona and the official Catalan day of love when women give men a book and men give their beloved a rose (and a book too now!). If you’d like to see previous photos and stuff about this festival please go to my Sant Jordi Cake post. Anyway, they were my Sant Jordi buns as there’s a cross on them like Saint George’s on the flag, right? Any excuse to make them, lol.
These buns are adapted from a recipe for spelt hot cross buns at worktop.com. But they’re made with fine white spelt flour, there’s a little less sugar and I used fresh yeast, so replaced some of the milk with water. I’ve halved the quantities for the eggwash, icing and glaze. Oooh and chopped candied orange peel replaces the currants. Yum. I also changed the method a little, adding the dried fruit not before but after the first proving or rise. I’ve heard his helps the dough initially rise more easily. Anyway I had my doubts because the dough was so wet at first, and even more slippery when the butter was added in, but with a little more kneading everything looked better. The recipe works surprisingly well! It seems breads come out lovely and fluffy when the dough is wet so please resist adding in extra flour (unless your dough is totally liquid of course).
Healthier and faster non-Easter options!
If you don’t do the crosses you avoid using unrefined icing sugar and save around 20 minutes’ work! Plus you won’t get people looking at you strangely and saying: ‘But it’s not Easter…’ closely followed by ‘Yum, can I have another one?’ 🙂
- 23g/0.8oz/7 and 1/3 teaspoons fresh yeast
- 55g/ml warm water (not hot, at about 30-32ºC)
- 150g/ml whole milk – you might need a little more later
- 45g/1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (organic) coconut palm sugar
- 400g/3 cups fine white spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 egg, beaten (58-60g, from a medium/large free-range egg)
- 70g/5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon finely-grated orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 40g/1/4 cup sultanas (or raisins)
- 40g/1/4 cup chopped candied orange
- 40g/1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
- 1 beaten egg for the eggwash
After 1 hour or so
Icing for the cross (optional)
- 33g/1/4 cup fine white spelt flour
- 30g/1/4 cup unrefined icing sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Spiced glaze – do this quickly while the buns are in the oven
- 100g/1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 60g/ml/1/4 cup water
- 1/2 a whole nutmeg
- 2 cloves
- 1 small star anise (or 3/4)
- 1/4 vanilla pod, split down the middle
- Add all the ingredients in a small heavy-based saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Immediately turn down the heat and simmer until a syrup forms (don’t simmer too high or the glaze starts becoming opaque). Remove from heat.
- When the buns are out of the oven, brush them with the hot syrup.
- Wait 5 minutes and brush again with the syrup.
Eating and storing
Wait 15 minutes or so before eating. When cooled completely store in airtight tupperware where they’ll keep at room temperature for up to 2 or 3 days. Hot cross buns are nice as they are and also delicious split in half and toasted! Then slather on the butter. Yum. You can freeze them up to 2 months wrapped tight individually in plastic film. And you can take them on picnics, hiking or climbing trips! Here I am (happily) munching on one at the rock. 🙂
Hope you’ve enjoyed the spelt hot cross buns and are inspired to munch on one too! I could offer you some from my diminishing stock in the freezer… 🙂
Farewell for now sweet reader! Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend and wishing you a great nicely-spiced week ahead! 🙂 Lili x